The United States and Russia struggled Monday to keep alive negotiations to end the bloodshed between US-backed rebels and Syria’s Russian-aligned regime. Even as top diplomats vowed to keep trying, President Barack Obama expressed skepticism that an unlikely alliance between rivals would yield the breakthrough needed to end the 5-year-old civil war.
It seems that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan an offer he couldn’t refuse. Turkey has been keen to please its new Russian Godfather after Russia turned the screws economically and militarily on NATO’s southern flank. Putin militarized Armenia on Turkey’s border with the Caucasus and shut off Turkish imports.